What is tar sands oil?

With the recent coverage of the debate over the development of tar sands oil fields in Canada, I wondered about this potential source of oil. Here’s the basic description from Wikipedia.

Also, here’s a link to a description of tar sands oil and its extraction from the Bureau of Land Management’s EIS site.

Here’s a link to the Altprofits (a commercial entity encouraging alternative and non-traditional energy development projects) website piece on tar sands oil.

And, here’s the transcript from a PBS NewsHour story on tar sands oil development.

Some people who live in the NCPR coverage area are participating this week in demonstrations against the proposed tapping and piping of oil from the Canadian fields. One of the leaders of the protest is Johnsburg, NY/Middlebury VT resident and well-known writer Bill McKibben.

From today’s Salon.com, here’s a piece written by Bill McKibben about the protest against tar sand development and his arrest.

What do you think? Does tar sands oil provide a viable source for near-at-hand energy for North America? Is the process worth the output? Weigh in.

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4 Comments on “What is tar sands oil?”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    Warning!! Putting gas into your car with gas made from tar sand oil will destroy your engine with sand.
    Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

  2. Paul says:

    Why does McKibben feel the need to be arrested to make his point?

  3. Paul says:

    Alan, these links seem to be about the politics surrounding the topic not about the substance really?

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